Participants of the Lynching Attempt in Santiago de Cuba Are Arrested

The events took place last Saturday, when the minor was attending a birthday party from where she was taken by the alleged aggressor, a friend of her parents’. (Facebook / Leonar Rente)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, February 14, 2020 — The many videos that have circulated on social networks about the attempted lynching of the person who raped a minor in Santiago de Cuba have had a double effect. Thanks to these images, the authorities have identified the citizens who intervened in the events and have begun to arrest and prosecute them.

“From the videos seized, we have begun to identify the people who attacked the Police and the arrests and prosecutions by the criminal investigation body of our province have started,” Lt. Col. José Luis announced on Thursday on Tele Turquino, the local TV channel of Santiago de Cuba.

“The people who assaulted the law enforcement officers taking advantage of this circumstance will be presented to the Prosecutor’s Office,” said Rolando Reyes Speck, a prosecutor in the Department of Criminal Justice.

The interviewee said in the broadcast that the minor remains hospitalized, however her condition is not life threatening; meanwhile, the alleged culprit has confessed his crime and “the full weight of the law will fall upon him”. According to the official statement, the alleged aggressor was identified by the residents of the area after committing the crime and “the moment of great sensibility was used by unscrupulous and opportunistic elements” to alter public order.

The officers insisted that the cause resulting from the investigation in this case of rape will have all the guarantees and that no one should take justice into their own hands as this process is in the Constitution “which every decent Cuban”, said Antomarchi, voted on last year.

The events occurred on February 8 when the victim, an 8-year-old girl, attended a birthday party and was taken by the detainee, an acquaintance of her parents, to rape her. The crime was immediately discovered by the neighbors, who went after the rapist to beat him and stone him, at which point the police had to intervene.

The authorities explained that the presence of the riot police was required when the agents were overpowered in their attempt to prevent a lynching. They explained that the law enforcement officers “never attacked the people” and simply tried to cool down the situation, but several individuals charged at the police and firefighters.

“The investigation and process shall be carried out applied equally to every accused person in our country,” said Reyes Speck, and assured that both the rapist and the protesters can count on the “legal guarantees that every defendant has.”

“For every person who commits a crime, however aberrant it may seem, the rule of law establishes procedural guarantees,” the prosecutor insisted.

Darina Ortega León, professor of Law at the Eastern University (Universidad de Oriente, Spanish name), participated in the program quoting Martí to defend the respect for the rule of law and privacy. In recent days, several images of the alleged aggressor, as well as some comments, many of them unconfirmed, have circulated on social networks and some media about the alleged health condition of the minor.

The hostess regretted that the videos of the lynching attempt presented a bad image of the citizens. “It is very unpleasant that the population of Santiago has been exposed in social networks in the way it was presented, because that goes against what we are defending as a social project.”

Ortega urged “not to follow the lead of these individuals that could damage the image of the people” and “encouraged the population to be very careful with things that are uploaded to the social networks (…). We have to avoid damaging, the image of our people in particular, who do not deserve it.”

The official media has taken several days to report this news and has only done it to accuse those who have informed the population and to proclaim that these events are isolated, that Cuba is a safe place and that this incident “responds to a campaign orchestrated from abroad”. The Tele Turquino hostess finished her presentation with a solemn phrase: “The truth is like the light, no matter how much you try to conceal it, it always blazes”.

 Francy Pérez Perdomo


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